being conceaded somewhere in the mountains made application to General Crittenden for protect he called a military mob or military tribunal if he came to Knoxville, prefessing his willingness to undergo a civil trial, i. e. a trial before the civil court as distinguised from court-martial, and as I understand General Crittenden promised to protect him from trial before a military tribunal.
In the meantime Mr. Baxter came here and represented that Brownlow who was entirely beyond our power and so concealed that on one could get possession of his person was willing to leave to country and go into exile to avoid any further trouble in East Tennessee, and proffered that Bronwlow would come in and give himself up to be counveyed out of East Tennessee if the Government would agree to let him do so and to protect him in his exit. If Brownlow had been in our hands we might not have accepted the proposition but deeming it better to have him as an open enemy on the other side of the line than a secret enemy within the lines authority was given to Generl Crittenden to assure him of protection across the border if he came in to Knoxville.
It was not in our power nor that of any one else to prevent his being taken process of law and I confess it did no occur to me that any attempt would be made to take him out of the hands of the military authorities. This has been done however, and it is only regretted in one point of view-that is color is given to the suspicion that Brownlow has been entrapped and has given himself up under promise of protection which has not been firmly kept. General Crittended feels sensitive on this point and I share his fellings. Better that even the most dangerous enemy however criminal should escape than that the honor and good faith of the Government should be impugned or even suspected. General Crittenden gave his word only that Brownlow should not be tried by the court-martial and I gave authority to promise him protection if he would surrender to be conveyed across the border. We have both kept our words as far as was in our power but every one must see that Brownlow would now be safe at large if he had not supposed that his reliance on the promises made him would insure his safe departure form East Tennessee.
Under all the circumstances therefore if Brownlow is exposed to harm from his arrest I shall deem to honor of the Government so far comprised as to consider it my duty to urge on the President a pardon for any offense of which he may be found guilty and I repeat the expression of my regret that he was presecuted however evident may be his guilt.
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War.
KNOXVILLE, December 27, 1861.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN.
Ramsey entered a nolle prosequi in Brownlow's case. I hold him in custody by advice of Colonel Leadbetter to be sent beyond our lines or otherwise as you may instruct.
G. H. MONSARRAT,
Captain Artillery, Commanding Post.
Colonel, Provisional Army, C. S.